Shifting Sales Strategies for a Quick-Look Consumer

Will the rise of core brands and larger packaging formats stick as the pandemic continues throughout the country? It definitely makes some breweries re-think, or think faster than before.

Ryan Bandy, the Sales Director for Indeed Brewing shared his thoughts last week with Brewer. The Minneapolis brewery, like many of its area competitors, just reopened outdoor spaces in June to accommodate on-premise consumers. Yet, the brewery is focused on getting kegs back out the door along with re-thinking sales for not the next four months, but just the next four weeks.

“I think you kind of have to throw everything you thought you knew out the window a little bit,” Bandy said. “There’s some data you can find quickly, like, what types of beers are going, what types of packages are going.”

The brand is seeing larger packages and older brands going more, like its Pale Ale, Day Tripper.

“It’s up nearly 100% in this time, and that’s our oldest beer,” Bandy said. “People like to go back to what they know. I heard Fat Tire is up for the first time in a bunch of years.

Bandy explained that even he doesn’t want to shop with his eyes as much anymore.

“You don’t want to stand there,” he said. “So you’re just picking up something you know is going to be good. So I think there’s a little bit of a shift and whether or not that carries, it’ll be really interesting.

“Do people go back to some of these beers? I hope so. They did it with Day Tripper because I think it’s still a badass beer. I hope some people thought of it as like an old-school beer they know and they’re like, ‘Oh, actually, this is really good.’ And maybe that carries past.”

Consumers are standing around looking at beer now to avoid being inside places if they ever do go inside.

“You have to stand in front of the cooler doors, see what’s new. You have to talk to other kinds of customers and workers. All those interactions are gone,” Bandy said. “You don’t really want to just stand and talk to someone in close quarters with 50 other people in the room … you’d rather just grab something and go, and are you grabbing something you never heard of or not?”

The brewery has adapted a part of its event space into a walk-up window for quick to-go sales also paired with the brewery’s ability to do direct delivery and online sales. Giving people unique offerings via that platform and treating them like they’re in the taproom is a new idea as well.

“You have to figure it out and do it digitally, but when you do that well, I think people respond really well,” Bandy said. “My first job was McDonald’s. It’s a great operation for selling stuff quickly. So like, what do we do? What does the window look like? Can we do drive-thru?

“These are the things that you’re thinking about when you can give them the same type of product quickly and you can give it to them fresh. Why not do it in different models that make people feel safe?”

​Even thinking of ways to promote and sell ​merchandising and executing on that level is a new strategy for Indeed.

“Is the purchase easy for the person that walks in? Does it look good on the shelf? Do they know what they’re getting quickly?” Bandy pondered. “Do they have to read through a bunch of stuff to know what it is? All that stuff, rethinking and making sure you’re executing for the quick purchase because I think a lot more people will be like that.”

Indeed has worked to​ refresh some of ​its packaging to be more simple​ and​ bold.

“It’s like a little bit of a balance for us,​” Bandy said.

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